An Interview with Kay Lindsey

Photo courtesy of Jerry Taliaferro.

Born in Washington, D.C., Kay Lindsey is a noted poet whose work often appears in college curricula.

A graduate of Howard University, she’s taught poetry in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington state and California.

When she returned to the D.C. area to serve as poet in residence at Montpelier Arts Center in Laurel, she moved to Hyattsville. In an email interview, she talked with the Hyattsville Wire about her return.

You’ve lived around the country. Why did you move to Hyattsville when you came back to the Washington area?

Actually, my daughter, who lives in D.C. picked Hyattsville for us. She was charmed by the folksiness and “mix” on Route 1 (Pier One used to be where the laundry now does business). Although we had pretty much decided to make the move, once we learned of its status as an arts district, the choice seemed serendipitous. Affordability and access to public transportation were other critical factors. Diversity, a big plus.

What do you think about Busboys and Poets’ use of the poet Langston Hughes in its decor, menu, etc.?

The Langston Hughes theme—a creative marketing strategy.

What would you think if you saw one of your poems on a menu? Would you find it cool — or jarring?

If the poem was one from my chapbook, “Menuendos: poems and prose about consuming experiences,” I’d be very amused.

Is there a local poetry scene? If so, what do you think of it?

No doubt there is a poetry scene somewhere in the vicinity, but the only other poet I know in Hyattsville is Deborah Ager, who is very active as a publisher as well.

Read Lindsey’s poem “Big Bang” here.

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